0
We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
Retry
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

Health Care Costs of Primary Care Patients With Recognized Depression

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH; Michael VonKorff, ScD; William Barlow, PhD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(10):850-856. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1995.03950220060012.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Background:  While an extensive literature documents the influence of depression on general medical services utilization, estimates of the economic burden of depression have focused on the direct costs of depression treatment. Higher use of general medical services may contribute significantly to the true cost of depressive illness.

Methods:  Computerized record systems of a large staffmodel health maintenance organization (HMO) were used to identify consecutive primary care patients with visit diagnoses of depression (n=6257) and a comparison sample of primary care patients with no depression diagnosis (n=6257). The HMO accounting records were used to compare components of health care costs.

Results:  Patients diagnosed as depressed had higher annual health care costs ($4246 vs $2371, P<.001) and higher costs for every category of care (eg, primary care, medical specialty, medical inpatient, pharmacy, laboratory). Similar cost differences were observed for each of the subgroups examined (patients treated with antidepressants, those not treated with antidepressants, and those diagnosed at routine physical examination visits). Pharmacy records indicated greater chronic medical illness in the diagnosed depression group, but large cost differences remained after adjustment ($3971 vs $2644). Twofold cost differences persisted for at least 12 months after initiation of treatment.

Conclusions:  Diagnosis of depression is associated with a generalized increase in use of health services that is only partially explained by comorbid medical conditions. In the primary care sector, this greater medical utilization exceeds direct treatment costs for depression. The persistence of utilization differences suggests that recognition and initiation of treatment alone are not adequate to reduce utilization differences.

Topics

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign in

Create a free personal account to sign up for alerts, share articles, and more.

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();